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Thread: Describing A Sunrise

  1. #1
    Learning to read more, post less
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    Nov 2006

    Describing A Sunrise

    Here are two paragraphs I wrote about today's sunrise where I live. How does it look?

    I stepped out of one of my customer's house where I had stopped to warm up and continued on my way. I sensed a change in the sky in the east due to the snow covered roads becoming brighter. As I walked south along the road, I turned my head east and saw that dawn had broke. The sky in the opposite direction was still dark, but in the east, a mixture of yellow and orange on the horizon beneath a dark neon blue ocean of night that had begun to evaporate. Against the tri-colored rainbow sky, trees, powerlines, and the roofs of houses were like shadows.

    About twenty minutes later, the sunrise had become even more beautiful as the sun peeked over the horizon. The sky had now become pink like a sea of cotton candy, with the light of the sun coloring the clouds above with a pinkish hue. As the sun slowly ascended, the sky in the west became a deep neon blue as the light reached further out. By the time I reached home, pink had become a pale yellow mixed with blue.

    Overall, this was one of the most beautiful sunrises I had ever seen.

  2. #2
    Hapless Virago IceCreamEmpress's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
    Dwayne, if this is your homework for your correspondence course, it's not really appropriate to ask us to critique it.

  3. #3
    The grad students did it NeuroFizz's Avatar
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    Apr 2005
    Coastal North Carolina
    The deep purple overhead surrendered to the advancing column of westward-marching blue, warning the roosters it's high time to wake the world for the day's battles.

    And if this really is an assignment for you, don't use the above because the third word isn't all that is purple here. It's fun to write purple prose.

    The point is, if this isn't an assignment, don't draw it out so much--get to the meat of the scene.
    Last edited by NeuroFizz; 01-16-2009 at 12:09 AM.
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  4. #4
    Blood Elves FTW BlueLucario's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
    South Florida
    Okay, you keep telling us about the "beautiful sunrise", but I fail to see showing. How is the sunrise beautiful? The similies are a bit awkward to me.

    If this is part of the story, the description is a bit too much. I, as a reader would be more focused on what's going on rather than the description.
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  5. #5
    figuring it all out laidback's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    You used the neon blue thing twice. I like the the cotton candy metaphor. The last line seemed a little too clinical to me.

    A lot of references to color. Maybe take a few of them away and instead let us know how the sunrise made you FEEL.

  6. #6
    Why is a raven like a writing desk? The Lonely One's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    West Spiral Arm
    Show me a beautiful sunrise.

    You'll never convince me, otherwise.

    That said, I think you started to show it, but kept interrupting with the damn annoying narrator. "It was beautiful, seriously." Okay, but let me decide that. It's like the narrator keeps tapping me on the shoulder while I'm trying to watch.

    Also, cut "About 20 minutes later." It's a weak transition IMO.

    EDIT: I also wanted to add, the sunset is almost a cliche in itself in writing, especially poetic writing. It's an easy symbol to cling to, like roses and birds and clouds and all those other things wannabe-Wordsworths have shoved into the ground. It takes a lot for you to make me want to read about a sunset rather than just going to watch one; I mean, there's one like, every day I'm pretty sure :P.

    It's so easy to make this old I would avoid trying to make it new. Personal opinion.
    Last edited by The Lonely One; 01-16-2009 at 02:13 AM.

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  7. #7
    Good thing I like my day job geardrops's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
    Bay Area, CA
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  8. #8
    Grumpy writer and editor Absolute Sage Gillhoughly's Avatar
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    Feb 2006
    Getting blitzed at Gillhoughly's Reef, Haleakaloha.
    All writers have favorite pieces they save for use in future works.

    File this one in your writer's notebook and save it for when you can combine that sunrise with something else.

    :editor's hat on:

    Descriptions of sunrises, sunsets, and other pretty events are not something I want to see unless it moves the plot forward or develops character.

    Description for the sake of description is fine for a writing class, but not for commercial fiction.

    Description of a majestic roaring waterfall by itself is dull.

    Same waterfall with your MC tied fast to a power boat that's hurtling toward the edge, much more interesting.

  9. #9
    that's di-CROW-ick Dichroic's Avatar
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    Apr 2008
    at home
    I can't see the sunrise. All I can see is the bad grammar. It stops me from paying attention to what you're trying to say. Now, it's entirely possible that many or most readers won't even notice all the errors, but those who do (generally we can't help it) will be grabbed by them and pulled out of your story, so it's probably a good idea to correct this stuff so you don't lose whatever fraction of your readership.

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  10. #10
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Jan 2009


    Hi, I'm a newbie but I wanted to throw in my two cents' worth.

    First, I like a lot of the description, but to be effective, it might be cut like this:

    "I stepped out of my customer's houses, and as I walked south the sunrise made me pause. In a reverie, I marveled at the sun peeking over the horizon, and the clouds like a sea of pink cotton candy. As I resumed my walk, I felt my mood lifted at the sight of this vista, and actually whistled as I reached my house."

    What the reader should know is how the sunrise affected the guy. If he's just making an observation, and it doesn't matter to the plot, cut the whole thing.
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  11. #11
    Learning to read more, post less
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    Nov 2006
    that makes sense. Thanks!

  12. #12
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Dec 2011
    Hey there! I know this topic is probably pretty old but anyway here is my two cents, it's great lots of details but way too long to describe 1 thing. I have add so if I am reading something that takes that long to describe I will lose focus and maybe forget what the book is about lol but anyway your doing good in all other areas I think

  13. #13
    Whatever I did, I didn't do it. Phaeal's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
    Providence, RI
    Necro sunrise!!!! Run for your lives!!!!!!
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  14. #14
    needs to change her sheets legendary bum's Avatar
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    Jul 2009
    bay area
    "probably" pretty old?
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